1.3 Program Advisers and Major Professors

1.3.1 Assigned Program Advisers

The name of your assigned program adviser is found on your student information page in AccessPlus. Contact the Graduate Program Staff Assistant (227 Ross Hall, englgrad@iastate.edu) if your adviser is not listed. All new graduate students should introduce themselves to their assigned program advisers by the end of the fourth week of classes in their first semester. Your program adviser helps you plan your coursework and guides you in a variety of academic matters. Please remember that it is your responsibility to initiate contact with your assigned program adviser prior to registration, or when it is time to file certain forms or to meet certain deadlines.

1.3.2 Major Professors

Your major professor is the person who will chair your Program of Study (POS) committee. This person supervises your thesis, creative component, or dissertation. It may be that your assigned program adviser will become your major professor; however, this choice should depend on the nature and direction of your research or creative project as well as your rapport with the selected professor. The Graduate College requires you to establish your major professor via the POSC Form in AccessPlus no later than in the semester before graduation. However, the English Department imposes earlier deadlines (see Degree Planning).

MA Students

Your major professor, in consultation with your POS committee, is responsible for approving the coursework in your program of study (POS). Your major professor’s primary responsibility, however, will be supervising the development of your thesis or creative component. We urge you to choose your major professor as soon as possible because this person is such a crucial part of your program.

By the announced department deadline (see Degree Planning), you must form your POS committee and submit both a Degree Planning Sheet (DPS) with other applicable POS documentation to the Graduate Program Staff Assistant, 227 Ross Hall, as well as the Graduate College Program of Study and Committee Form (POSC) in your AccessPlus account. The deadline is typically in the 6th week of the semester and posted on our Graduate Program’s Deadlines website.

In selecting your major professor, you might consult with your adviser, your graduate instructors, your fellow graduate students, and the list of graduate faculty research and teaching areas found in the Graduate Faculty section of this manual. Remember that a faculty member’s willingness to serve as a major professor depends upon factors such as specific research interests and amount of time available. For additional information, see The Program of Study Committee (MA).”

MFA students

Your major professor, in consultation with your POS committee, is responsible for approving the coursework in your program of study (POS). Your major professor’s primary responsibility, however, will be supervising the development of your thesis. You must file a major professor preference form, sent to you by the CWE area coordinator in your third semester, by the deadline advertised by them.

By the announced department deadline (see Degree Planning), you must form your POS committee and submit both a Degree Planning Sheet (DPS) with other applicable POS documentation to the Graduate Program Staff Assistant, 227 Ross Hall, as well as the Graduate College Program of Study and Committee Form (POSC) in your AccessPlus account. The deadline is typically in the 6th week of the semester and posted on our Graduate Program’s Deadlines website.

In addition, your major professor must approve your proposal for your book-length thesis project by the end of the third semester (or the completion of 18 credit hours towards your POS). In selecting your major professor preference, you might consult with your adviser, your graduate instructors, your fellow graduate students, and the list of graduate faculty research and teaching areas found in the Graduate Faculty section of this manual. For additional information, .”see The Program of Study Committee (MFA)

PhD students

Your major professor, in consultation with your POS committee, is responsible for approving the coursework in your program of study. Your major professor also directs your dissertation research and participates in your preliminary examinations as described by your respective doctoral program, Applied Linguistics and Technology or Rhetoric and Professional Communication. Because the major professor plays a central role in your doctoral studies, it is best to select this faculty member early in your program of study as soon as you feel prepared to do so.

By the announced department deadline (see Degree Planning), you must form your POS committee and submit both a Degree Planning Sheet (DPS) with other applicable POS documentation to the Graduate Program Staff Assistant, 227 Ross Hall, as well as the Graduate College Program of Study and Committee Form (POSC) in your AccessPlus account. The deadline is typically in the 6th week of the semester and posted on our Graduate Program’s Deadlines website.

In selecting your major professor, you might consult with your adviser, your graduate instructors, your fellow graduate students, and the list of graduate faculty research and teaching areas found in the Graduate Faculty section of this manual. You may always make changes in your POS Committee as your research interests solidify. For additional information, see The Program of Study Committee (PhD).”

1.3.3 Co-Major Professors

If you are pursuing a co-major, you must have co-major professors, each representing one of your co-major programs of study. If you have a Graduate Faculty member that represents both majors, they can serve as a single major professor for both majors.

Co-major professors are also required when a faculty member retires or resigns from Iowa State University and is the student’s major professor.

Co-major professors are required if an Associate Graduate Faculty member is serving as major professor.

The Graduate College may also require an additional POS Committee member in order that each major is represented with a minimum of two faculty members (i.e., one co-major professor and one committee member). See specific co-major requirements for English Department majors later in this manual within the appropriate section for the M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. programs.

For additional information, refer to the Graduate College Handbook regarding “POS Committee Makeup.”